Peter Frederiksen is accused of cutting off women's geintals. File picture: Soraya Crowie

Peter Frederiksen, who is facing several charges of slicing off women’s clitorises in illegal operations at his Bloemfontein house, is seeking acquittal after it emerged in the Free State High Court yesterday that there are no specific penalties outlined in South Africa’s laws for the transgression. 

Defence lawyer Marius Bruwer told Judge Johan Daffue in his application for discharge after the State closed its case that the country’s National Health Act (NHA) was not explicit on the consequences one may face for removing human tissue when not medically qualified, and urged the court to acquit his client.

Frederiksen is accused of contravening certain sections of the NHA of 2003 and is facing about 20 charges for the removal of human tissue and for the removal of human tissue in an unauthorised place.

“After a very long search… we could not find a specific penalty to the charges,” said Bruwer. “We thought there was an amendment to the National Health Act, but found nothing.” 

This left State prosecutor advocate Amanda Bester on the verge of conceding to a major shortcoming in the country’s laws.